Baltasound

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Baltasound
Main gate for Buness, Baltasound - geograph.org.uk - 969689.jpg
At the main gate of Buness, Baltasound
OS grid referenceHP620089
Civil parish
  • Unst
Council area
Lieutenancy area
CountryScotland
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townSHETLAND
Postcode districtZE2
Dialling code01957
PoliceScottish
FireScottish
AmbulanceScottish
UK Parliament
  • Orkney and Shetland (UK Parliament constituency)
Scottish Parliament
  • Shetland (Scottish Parliament constituency)
List of places
UK
Scotland

Baltasound is the largest settlement on the island of Unst in Shetland. Unst is the most northerly inhabited island in the United Kingdom. The village lies halfway along the island's east coast on a sheltered bay called Balta Sound.

Baltasound Post Office, the most northerly in the UK

Baltasound was formerly the most important herring port in Shetland, in 1902 its catch exceeded that of the Shetland capital Lerwick. The herring trade declined rapidly after 1905 but the physical remains of the herring boom remained long after.[1]

Baltasound was the home of the noted Victorian botanist Thomas Edmondston, who was born at Buness House where his uncle, also called Thomas was the laird. A memorial stone erected outside the house by the elder Thomas Edmondston commemorates scientific studies undertaken there by the French physicist Jean-Baptiste Biot.[2]

Baltasound can also lay claim to the most northerly "wood" in the British Isles, although it is not very substantial.[3]

Climate[change | change source]

Baltasound is home to the most Northerly Met Office weather station in the United Kingdom.[4] Despite its northerly location, Baltasound experiences a maritime climate, as with the rest of the British Isles, albeit a very pronounced one, with mild winters and particularly cool summers. It is generally cool and clammy throughout the year.

Baltasound holds the record for the highest temperature recorded in the Shetland Islands: 25.0 °C (77.0 °F) on 2 July 1958.[5] On the same day, the highest humidex for Baltasound of 34 was recorded. It also possibly holds the record for the lowest Shetland temperature: −11.9 °C (10.6 °F) on 5 February 2001.[6]

Sunshine hours are not available for this station, so the sunshine values provided are for the whole of Northern Scotland. The extreme northerly location combined with frequent overcast skies leads to very low levels of sunshine in the winter months, December averages less than 45 minutes of bright sunshine daily.[7]

Baltasound is the snowiest low-lying area of the British isles, with an average of 64.7 days of snow falling per year.[8]

Climate data for Baltasound 15 m amsl, 1981-2010
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high humidex 12.0 12.0 16.0 20.0 33.0 32.0 34.0 34.0 25.0 20.0 19.0 13.0 34.0
Record high °C (°F) 11.0
(51.8)
11.0
(51.8)
14.0
(57.2)
17.0
(62.6)
24.9
(76.8)
24.0
(75.2)
25.0
(77.0)
24.9
(76.8)
20.0
(68.0)
17.0
(62.6)
16.0
(60.8)
12.0
(53.6)
25.0
(77.0)
Average high °C (°F) 6.4
(43.5)
6.0
(42.8)
7.1
(44.8)
8.9
(48.0)
11.0
(51.8)
13.1
(55.6)
15.0
(59.0)
15.2
(59.4)
13.4
(56.1)
10.7
(51.3)
8.2
(46.8)
6.8
(44.2)
10.2
(50.3)
Average low °C (°F) 2.0
(35.6)
1.3
(34.3)
2.1
(35.8)
3.7
(38.7)
5.6
(42.1)
8.0
(46.4)
10.2
(50.4)
10.4
(50.7)
8.8
(47.8)
6.5
(43.7)
3.8
(38.8)
2.1
(35.8)
5.4
(41.7)
Record low °C (°F) −6.0
(21.2)
−11.9
(10.6)
−9.0
(15.8)
−5.0
(23.0)
−2.0
(28.4)
1.0
(33.8)
3.0
(37.4)
2.0
(35.6)
1.0
(33.8)
−2.0
(28.4)
−6.0
(21.2)
−10.0
(14.0)
−11.9
(10.6)
Average rainfall mm (inches) 123.0
(4.84)
95.7
(3.77)
107.4
(4.23)
64.7
(2.55)
52.3
(2.06)
56.6
(2.23)
59.9
(2.36)
82.1
(3.23)
96.0
(3.78)
122.6
(4.83)
128.0
(5.04)
119.8
(4.72)
1,108.1
(43.64)
Average rainy days (≥ 1.0 mm) 22.0 17.5 20.1 13.7 11.8 11.0 12.0 13.4 16.7 20.6 20.5 20.7 200
Average relative humidity (%) 84 84 83 81 80 82 86 86 85 82 84 84 83
Mean monthly sunshine hours 28.1 56.5 86.3 128.0 172.2 140.7 125.7 119.7 96.9 67.6 35.0 23.2 1,079.9
Source 1: Met Office[7]
Source 2: My Weather 2[9]

References[change | change source]

  1. Hudson, Norman - Souvenir Postcards from Shetland, Shetland Times, 1992
  2. "Unst, Baltasound, Buness, Memorial Stone". Canmore. Archived from the original on 12 April 2015. Retrieved 21 August 2015.
  3. Blackadder, Jill Slee Shetland (Colin Baxter Island Guides) (2003) Colin Baxter Photography, Strathspey ISBN 1-84107-125-0
  4. "Station Map". UKMO.
  5. "Northern Scotland: climate". metoffice.gov.uk.
  6. "February 2001". metoffice.gov.uk.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Office, Met. "Baltasound climate". www.metoffice.gov.uk.
  8. "10 of the snowiest places in the UK". Met Office.
  9. http://www.myweather2.com/City-Town/United-Kingdom/Shetland-Islands/Baltasound/climate-profile.aspx?